Crawling on the Floor of the Ocean, Tasting Delicious – Dungeness Crab!

Crab Nuggets

Crab Nuggets

We are fortunate enough to live by the shores of Puget Sound. It’s a beautiful place to live – we’re grateful to be in the Pacific Northwest and one of the chief reasons we love our little bay so much is because it’s filled with sweet, delicious Dungeness crab.

Dungeness crabs crawl about on the floor of the ocean eating the muck from the bottom and transmuting it into sweet, utterly delicious flesh. It’s just remarkable!

We generally haul in anywhere from 100-200 gorgeous Dungeness crabs over the course of a season. Then it’s Picking Time – we gather round, drink wine, and pick crab meat for freezing.

The secret to freezing crab meat properly, so it tastes wonderful a few months later, when it’s Fall or even Winter and you’re craving the taste of fresh crab, is to first chill it thoroughly in a Ziplock bag. Then, once it’s partly frozen, remove it from the Ziplock and vacuum seal it with a Seal a Meal or similar.

We use the Seal-a-Meal and, if you don’t have hundreds of bags a day to seal, this is the best value for the money in our view. Seal-a-Meal FSSMSL0160-000 Vacuum Sealer

Today, we unfroze a package of Crab Nuggets that I’d put together for a party a couple of weeks ago and – in the haste and crazyness of bringing about six other dishes to this party – completely forgot. Hard to believe. I mean – I prepared and cooked them and put them in the fridge. Jeez.

I made a little sauce for them that turned out quite nicely, roasted up a few Brussels sprouts and we had a gorgeous side dish for us and our adult children that ended up turning into the meal. Crab, sprouts and a few other odds and ends. It was enough, especially after the excesses of Thanksgiving!!

Crab Nuggets with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients for Nuggets

  • 1 lb. fresh picked crab meat
  • 3/4 C. panko style bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • (Optional, but good) 1/4 tsp. Maggi seasoning
  • 1-1/2 T. mayo (US fans: I use Best Foods, which is Hellmans east of the Mississippi)
  • 1 T. Old Bay seasoning. If you don’t have or don’t care for Old Bay, substitute 1/2 T. celery seed, lightly crushed + 1 tsp. sweet paprika.
  • 2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped. The fine chopped fresh parsley should be 2 packed tablespoons’ worth.
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. sherry or dry vermouth


In a large bowl, mix together egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and Old Bay seasoning. Add breadcrumbs and crab meat and mix by hand to avoid breaking up too many of the lumps, although you may need to break up the very large lumps so the crab balls will stay together.

Shape into approx. 24 balls and fry in batches in a frying pan with about 1/4″ of  hot oil until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

Tip: Moisten your hands very slightly to make it easier to roll out the 24 small-ish crab nuggets

Dilled Horseradish Sauce

I love Dilled Horseradish sauce. Its creamy zing and herbal fragrance is the perfect add to so many different foods.

Like many sauces, the exact preparation of this sauce is entirely variable to your taste, but it’s generally a good idea to work within the recipe until you’ve figured out just how you prefer it, at which point you can go wild!!

Here’s how I make it:

Mix thoroughly the following ingredients and chill for at least an hour in the fridge.

  • 1/2 C. sour cream
  • 1 T. prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2-3 T. fresh dill weed, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • dash hot sauce
  • few twists of fresh ground pepper

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

As far as I’m concerned, the simpler you can make these babies, the better. Get the freshest sprouts you can find. Sprouts that are soft, that have dark spots, or that have lots of loose leaves are sprouts you Do Not Want.

Preheat your oven to 475 Fahrenheit degrees and set a rack in the middle of the oven.

Mix 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed, the stem end sliced off (usually about 1/4″), and sliced vertically in half with 2-3 T. good quality olive oil (I like to pop them in a cheap plastic bag, add the oil, twist the bag shut and shake ’em up).

Spread the sprouts on a baking sheet and sprinkle them lightly with Kosher salt, then pop them in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. When the sprouts are seriously browned and a bit wilted looking, they are ready.

Serve with the crab nuggets and sauce. BONUS!! The sauce is delicious on both the nuggets and the sprouts!

Crab Nuggets and Brussels Sprouts

Crab Nuggets and Brussels Sprouts – ouch, the sauce kind of 
flashed out a bit when I took this picture but everything
else looks pretty good!!